Red Hills Cross Country: A Record-Breaking Day for Selena O’Hanlon & Foxwood High

Selena O’Hanlon and Foxwood High. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Selena O’Hanlon and John and Judy Rumble’s Foxwood High stormed to the top of the CCI4*-S leaderboard on cross country today at Red Hills International Horse Trials, delivering one of just two rounds inside the optimum time on Mike Etherington-Smith’s course here in Tallahassee, Florida. They remain on their dressage score of 26.8 overnight.

The optimum time has now been caught by five riders in the 21-year history of the CCI4*-S at Red Hills. Selena is the only rider in history to have made the time in the CCI4*-S three times. As a combination, Selena and Foxwood High are the only pair to have made the time twice; they were the fastest by 2 seconds today.

Jacob Fletcher and Atlantic Domino also caught the optimum time today to join the following club of CCI4*-S clock-beaters: Whitney Mahloch with Military Mind in 2018; Selena O’Hanlon with A Fine Romance and Foxwood High, both in 2013; Peter Atkins with Henry Jota Hampton in 2012; and Phillip Dutton with The Foreman in 2005 and Nova Top in 2004.

Going faster on cross country has been a key goal for Selena and “Woody,” a 16-year-old Canadian Sport Horse bred by Epstein Equestrian (Rio Bronco W X Evita II xx, by Abacus xx). They were five seconds inside the time, and she was easing up through the finish knowing she had made it.

“I was worried with how many combinations there were it would be tough to make the time. There were places where I had no choice and really had to bring him back to see the strides. I rode him as fast as I could safely because I thought I would be late on the clock, but I was practicing going faster and jumping the straightforward fences faster,” Selena said.

“He’s improved so much — even in the show jumping and dressage with speeding up his hind legs when he collects instead of slowing down. Now I can wait until the last two strides before a fence to prepare, and I can trust he’ll speed up his hind legs to get the distance. He’s also just so trustworthy. I’ve been his longtime partner. I tell myself if I ride the right way, he’s going to do his best for me.”

Red Hills is Woody’s final run in the States before he ships to England to gear up for his second consecutive appearance at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials. They depart March 31 and will once again be based at Mark Todd’s yard in Wiltshire, with a planned run at Burnham Market as their final outing ahead of Badminton.

“I’m excited to see Burnham Market, which is a venue I’ve never competed at, and experience competing there. I want to soak up the whole experience, “Selena said. “Now that we know we can do Badminton, hopefully we can improve on our speed.”

(Selena can be two seconds over the time allowed on Chris Barnard’s show jumping course tomorrow and still win — one step closer to fulfilling EN’s prophecy.)

Jacob Fletcher and Atlantic Domino. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Jacob Fletcher and Atlantic Domino,  a 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Dunlough Striker X Atlantic Amanda, by Glidawn Diamond) owned by Fletcher Farms, became the eighth pair to make the time in Red Hills CCI4*-S history and remain on their dressage score of 27.7, which moved them up to second place. These two are aiming for their first CCI5*-L at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event.

Clark Montgomery and Caribbean Soul. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Clark Montgomery and Caribbean Soul, a 12-year-old Thoroughbred (Cimarron Secret X Ogygian’s Dasire, by Ogygian) owned by the Caribbean Soul Syndicate, impressed in the mare’s CCI4*-S debut, jumping clear with just 1.2 time penalties to move up to third place on 32.9.

Overnight dressage leaders Hannah Sue Burnett and Harbour Pilot, a 16-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Cruising X Shannon, by Catch On Fire) owned and bred by Jacqueline Mars, picked up 8.8 time penalties to slip to fourth place on 35.2.

Clayton Fredericks and FE Ophelia, a 12-year-old Zweibrucker mare (Ocordo X Argentina, by Argentina) owned by Diana Crawford and Hugh Wrigley, added 8.4 time penalties and moved up to fifth place on 38.9.

Boyd Martin and Kyra. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Boyd Martin Bests Advanced

Boyd Martin and Christine Turner’s Kyra, a 12-year-old Canadian Warmblood mare (VDL Ulando H X Wellesley, by Weltstern) were first to go in the Advanced and moved to the lead with 4.4 time penalties, which puts them on a score of 32.2 heading into show jumping tomorrow.

Whitney Mahloch and Military Mind, her own 13-year-old Thoroughbred (Military X Smart Balance, by Beau Genius), were the only pair to make the time in the Advanced division today to move up to second place on 32.7.

Boyd Martin and Long Island T, a a 13-year-old Oldenburg/Thoroughbred (Ludwig von Bayern X Haupstsbuch Highlight, by Heraldik xx) owned by the Long Island T Syndicate, led after dressage and picked up 12.8 time penalties to sit third on 38.3.

Jessica Phoenix and Bentley’s Best. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Canada in Control of CCI3*-S

Jessica Phoenix and Bentley’s Best an 11-year-old Trakehner gelding (Hirtentanz X Hauptstutbuch Baronesse XIII, by Eichendorff) owned by the Bentley’s Best Group, scooted home 1 second inside the time on David O’Connor’s CCI3*-S course to keep the lead on 25.0.

Caroline Martin and The Apprentice, a 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Casado x Funny Girl, by Fernblick) owned by Sherrie Martin, also caught the time to move up from 10th to second on 31.0.

Ellie O’Neal and Sally Cox’s Zick Zack, a 10-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare (Blue Hors Zack X Mercedes, by Master), added 0.40 time penalties to move up to third on 31.0.

Lynn Symansky and Global Cassero 3. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Symansky Still On Top in CCI2*-S

Lynn Symansky and Global Cassero 3, an 8-year-0ld Hanoverian (Conteur X Wahida, by Windauch) owned by KC Eventing, finished 1 second inside the time to hold the lead in the CCI2*-S.

Katherine Coleman has sourced a number of exciting horses to the States, and she imported “Jerry” last year after he won the Millstreet CCIYH2*-S with Brian Morrison. Jerry turned out to be a perfect match for Lynn, who is now actively looking for owners to join her in the journey of producing the horse to the highest levels of the sport.

“He’s not even close to what he could be,” Lynn said. “He’s still building strength, but he’s so honest. I’m excited for this horse’s future, and I think he has all the right parts. I think it’s important to keep scouting new talent for the U.S.”

While Jerry has multiple runs at the level under his belt, Lynn thought it was crucial to get to know him at the same level before moving him up to Intermediate. “It’s about getting him a bit stronger and me getting to know him. He feels more than ready to move up. Today was definitely easy for him.”

Christina Henriksen and JTH Zest, her own 8-year-old British-bred mare (Zamboucca X Maybee Baybee, by Mayhill), also caught the optimum time to remain in second place on their dressage score of 25.6.

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Pur Dawes’ Duiske Abbey, a 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse better known as “Mouse,” finished nearly 20 seconds inside the time in the mare’s first CCI2*-S to move up third on 28.8.

We are relieved to report that all falls today resulted in no major injuries for either horse or rider. Click here to view full scoring across all divisions. Go Eventing.

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